A protester at the 2016 Women’s March in DC. Photo by yours truly.

What’s next in the #MeToo conversation?

For us to make any progress, it must be empathy. For men.

marjorie steele
Oct 19, 2017 · 2 min read

Oh yes, we’re going there.

But hear me out before you crucify me.

I’ve been ruminating on all the #metoo posts running through my feeds, from close friends and distant acquaintances alike. I feel many of them in my heart. And I think about them.

I think about my best friend, whose uncle decided that she would make a good sex toy at the age of 14, who has endured an old man’s hand on her ass up her skirt on a public train, with him leering at her all the while — just to name a few instances. About the incredible baggage that she carries from those scars — in lightness and an effortless abundance of grace, as is her style.

I think about Carrie Fisher personally delivering a cow’s tongue wrapped in a Tiffany box to the office of an Oscar-winning Hollywood executive who had attempted to force himself on a personal friend of hers, with a note reading:

If you ever touch my darling Heather or any other woman again, the next delivery will be something of yours in a much smaller box.

I think about my own experiences, which are…complicated. They always are. I’m very lucky to never have been physically assaulted…er…well…yeah, it’s complicated. I’ve written about some of them here already. All things withstanding I feel that I’ve fared a lot better than most of my sisters, and I’m honestly not quite sure how I feel about that.

Then I think about my husband. And I think about my stepson. I think about my colleagues, and the countless amazing husbands and fathers and brothers and friends who touch the lives of the women I love, and I wonder what they’re thinking. I wonder how they’re feeling.

We wouldn’t really know. Most of them are afraid to speak right now, and if they are talking, we’re definitely not listening to them.

The root of this male predatory behavior — as this audio of Harvey Weinstein attempting to coerce a 22 year old woman to remain in his hotel room demonstrates, as well as Donald Trump’s “locker room talk” with Billy Bush, etc ad nauseum — seems so clear to me. I mean, Weinstein’s voice is shaking with emotion as he begs her not to embarrass him. He’s a famous guy. Please don’t embarrass him.

This essay has been moved to The Creativeonion Network, where members support my work through a monthly subscription. Check it out here: creativeonion.me.

marjorie steele

Written by

poet, journalist, scruffy looking nerf herder. teaching business @KCADofFSU & some other stuff. pitch me: marjorie@creativeonion.me

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